My thanks to Kodansha Comics and NetGalley for a review copy of this manga.
Sue and Tai-Chan is the charming first volume of the adventures of Sue a seventeen-year-old cat, and Tai-Chan, a tiny black kitten. Natsuki, Sue’s ‘human’ is handed a box with Tai-Chan a little kitten to look after. He tries to refuse, saying he has a cat already but the giver (whom we don’t see) doesn’t listen to any excuses. And with that Tai-Chan arrives in their home. Sue is seventeen and like any senior cat wants to spend much of her time sleeping while Tai-Chan is small and like any kitten playful and inquisitive. Sue isn’t bad natured but obviously initially a little annoyed by his presence. But in a little while she soon starts to become accustomed to him and his ways—his wanting to play all the time—and begins to look after him and make sure he doesn’t land in too much trouble. In the manga, we follow a set of their every day adventures, as Tai-Chan explores his new surroundings and is curious about everything he sees around him, while Sue struggles to keep up with the little fellow.
This was a very sweet and light read, which highlight small snapshots of every day life, with no major drama but little adventures—from Tai-Chan exploring and attempting to understand his new home and surroundings, what his litter box is for, what he can eat and not eat, not to make too much racket at night, and even what a watermelon is. Sue is of course not as energetic, but she is good natured and mostly gives in to Tai-Chan’s demands to play, and often takes care of him—giving him a clean when needed and making sure he is safe when he vanishes from sight. Both cats are loveable and endearing. Natsuki appears off and on, but the focus of our story is the two cats and their relationship.
One can see from the story that the author knows her cats, and captures their natures and mannerisms really well—from Sue not wanting to move too much because she is an older cat, to Tai-Chan’s boundless energy, endless curiosity, and penchant for trouble—all perfectly done. Also things like Tai-Chan being more interested in Sue’s food than his own (that’s nothing to do with age, though!).
This one ended on a cliff-hanger of sorts (one knows what is going to happen but what that will lead to is to be seen—all fun, I think in keeping with the tone of the series) but one that made me want to run and pick up the second volume unlike my usual reaction to cliff-hangers.
This is a manga that any cat-lover would adore, and really one anyone can pick up for a delightful look into everyday life—with no drama or such—just small bits of fun!
Oh and unlike some other mangas I’ve read, this one can be read in the ordinary way—left to right. It also has some info like the use of honorifics in Japan/Japanese.
For a catalogue, reviews, and interesting posts on books with cats in them across genres–Keli Cat’s Book Corner.